Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
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Journal  June  2006

Kayden what up?

June 30, 2006
Angels watching over me is an old song by Any Grant. I thought of that song this morning just after I said thank you God. I was taking a leisurely morning drive in the country and I noticed the car coming at me in the other lane was driving across the center line. I could see that the driver was looking down and toward the passenger side. He was also wearing sunglasses. I saw him lean down and reach down and across the passenger seat. His hands followed on the steering wheel and he drove head on into my lane. It was sudden and complete and I ran off the road and avoided being hit head on at 40 miles an hour. Had I been checking my gas gauge or looking in my read view mirror or checking my speed, had I been doing anything but watching that driver I would probably either be dead or in the hospital. So thank you God. I hope there are a passle of angels on my watch so one or two don't get worn out keeping me out of harm's way. I am grateful to be here another day for my family and have the chance to continue to seek and find my place and my way back Home.
  It is a lovely day. The grass is in full bloom so many of us are challenged with itching eyes and runny noses but who cares. It is beautiful outside. Kayden had a rough go trying to go to sleep last night. Andie spent about an hour holding him. A lot has to do with all the pollen and him not knowing why he feels like he does. There is one fact for sure he is swimming in a sea of love at our house because we sure are glad he is here. I am so glad he was given that chance. And Sariah is incredibly beautiful and beaming with love in those soulful brown eyes. Being a Grand Papa is the best. Who knew? I am glad I got to live and see this day because it is a good one. Have a great holiday!  Show someone you love how much you care. God bless. Greg

June 29, 2006
The new day rolls in clear and warm. It will be in the 80's today. I didn't get much sleep last night so I am in a happy fog today.
Kayden stayed asleep after his drive in the car last night. I am listening to a new mix of the songs I recorded at Mike Daily's studio. There is some good stuff there. I still have to sing the darned thing though. Still there is a raw charm to the recordings and Mike has gotten better and better at mixing. He reads and reads, buys training DVD's and watches them. Anyhow it is a lovely day and I best be about it. We are thinking on ways to help Kayden keep on schedule and get more sleep and it occurred to me that he misses us as much as we miss him when he is away. He may be just trying to squeeze more time out of the day in our company. It is important to follow the heart on this. I still remember those abandonment feelings to this day so very far down the road of life. If not handled right I feel it can impact a life in a big way. I want to have the old school life for Kayden. I would actually like if both Andie and I could spend days with him; every day in fact. See it and make it happen. See it clearly.

June 29, 2006
Cannot seem to sleep tonight. It is 11 o'clock and I have listened to Missy chew on and lick herself for an hour and jumping off a building sounds good at this moment. In my mind I tried to place myself on the beach in the Bahamas because that is still the prettiest water I have been in in my entire life. I pictured the turquoise waters around me and that Caribbean sun beating down and the coolness of the sea and the warmth of the summer sun, the waves lapping at the shore. Lapping. Lapping. Licking. Licking. Chewing. Chihuahua chewing. And here I am when what I want to be doing is simply sleeping. I have lost some discipline I fear when I find some thing so annoying. Well, it is probably because I long for more sleep. I enjoyed driving Kayden around tonight. I wish there was a way to have him sit where I could really see him and we could share eye contact and the magic of the setting sun and the day turning to dusk. It seems like some strange things have entered our lives. The mists of distance, the lack of leftovers after the work day is done. Nada. Nada. But the glass is overflowing. No really. Full to the brim I hear it splashing as I raise it from the table. Splashing. Splashing. Lapping. Licking. Chewing. Arrrggggghhh.

June 29, 2006  Men are disturbed not by the things that happen, but by their opinions of the things that happen. Epictetus
   Now that is an interesting quote. I was about to start out by complaining about not making enough time to write a poem or journal for almost a week. Perception. I see myself not having enough time and therefore I don't. What a waste. Rob came over last night and we went to the Land of Midi. It is a strange and enchanted land occupied by ones and zeroes and sprinkled with waves of sound. Getting everything to talk to each other in the Land of Midi is the challenge. We struggled for over an hour, maybe more, trying to get the PC to talk to my sound modules. It wasn't speaking to anybody. I finally threw up my arms and said let me get my Powerbook and in five minutes we were listening to samples of sound. Mac rules. Rob is about to hit the road and travel as the sound dude for about four months. It will be interesting to see how that turns out. It will be an adventure.
   Andie and I are talking about what to do this summer but our plans are to go see Josh & Christina and Freedom and Natalie and hug our new grand babies. I surely hope that all works out. We were hoping for a trip to Florida but it looks like that is not in the works. Mexico will happen again someday but who knows when. We were the Traveling Willbury's for a minute there for about two years. Now we are playing the part of parenting grandparents. Life is as life does. Keep a big vision and a steady eye and your bat ready for you never know when life is going to through you a curve ball or a home run. It is an adventure I am happy to share with Andie, our friends and family.
  I will be playing at the Columbia Winery Case sale the second weekend of August Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you life wine it is a good time and place to buy it and you can hear me play at the same time. August 11, 12,and 13.

June 23, 2006   What really matters is growing old with a smile. Susan and Todd Montgomery
When I first typed that sentence it came out groaning instead of growing; groaning old with a smile, a whole different concept. The boy wonder is sleeping in this morning. Andie has gone off to paint the barber shop and then to a baby shower or what ever just to get some time with grown ups away from us kids. Liz is getting her beauty sleep and I am embracing the morning and looking forward to a lovely day. I look at all these photos and see an old man where I should be, an old man with a very big smile on his face looking as this little boy blossoms right in front of our eyes. I think of Sariah and how she is changing and wish we could watch that happen up close too. Now Sierra is soon to be here with Natalie and Freedom and we will be grand parents 3 times in just over a year. Life tromps on down the road of time. Bones creak a bit and ancient aches and pains settle in for the winter of life but smiles wash in with the waves and take away the cares and worries of the day. Brighter days are here every day we pay attention, even when it is raining. Rich we are in family, friends and love. Rich we are and I am smiling.

June 23, 2006  It is hard to defeat and enemy who has an outpost in your head. Sally Compton
Another Friday and what a lovely morning it is. I didn't get to spend any time with Kayden yesterday. I have been mourning missing him as for awhile I was spending my whole days with him. Now it is go go go. I am doing some good positive reading and gearing myself for some new direction. I let an opportunity pass by because I was dragging my feet. I realize that and that it is so important what we say to ourselves in the course of a day. The little messages can make us sore or cause us to crass to the ground in flames. Vision is a powerful thing. I was talking to Rob about our dreams of a cooperative Recording and healing foundation. Circular complex with houses around the center which will be the recording studio, yoga studios, massage and healing rooms. He said he was reading that you have to have clearly defined dreams to bring them into your life. Vague dreams remain fuzzily out of reach in the ether. Seeing the vision and believing it, those are key. God wants to bless more than we imagine. Let's imagine a lot.

June 21, 2006
This month is running a marathon and taking my laptop with it. I tote it around with me while it sits in its case waiting to give wings to a flash poem and a journal entry. This is a time of transition and vision expansion. Belief in a higher good and a better life. The material things don't matter to us and I am thankful for that. Still it has been said money doesn't solve problems and troubles it just makes it a bit more comfortable while you are going through them. We love what we do in the creative realm. We fall in a groove like the waves on the shore, the rhythm of the sea, it is all so natural. It is the rest of the time that is challenging. Musically there is more waiting to be had. It doesn't matter that things are different now. It is a good thing to be open to new adventure. I really loved what Jimmy, Ronnie and I did at the show in the Highlands. It was a far cry from my Latin Jazz love and a lot closer to my Georgia roots in some ways but the best part of all was singing harmony. I miss that. I told myself all the time that I couldn't so a fair amount of the time I proved myself right. But the fact is I can and I love being a support player. And I still think that musically speaking that harmony is magic. I love when Jimmy sings Valley Island Lady and I get to sing the second part. Good stuff.
June 19, 2006
I know a fellow who wrote this song saying something's gotta happen, something's gotta give, something's gotta change about the way we live. Now! Right now! Oh yea it was me. And that fact is truer today than ever. I am shipwrecked from my soul. Music is swimming far off shore and I want to swim with it. Then there was father's day and the family out here. Faith was such a huge help getting food prepared and taking care of Kayden. I did a show with Jimmy Culler and Ron Llinas on Saturday and it was great. We had some wonderful three part harmony moments. The folks who through the party were really fabulous hosts and we were treated with much kindness and beer. Jimmy tested his brakes and proved he could wait to the absolute last minute, burn a bunch of rubber and still manage to not hit the car in front of us. It may have helped that I was screaming Look up! Stop. Stop. STOP!
It there was a black hair hiding under this white mat on my head I am sure it is gone now. On Sunday Andie's Dad and brother Carry and their families joined us. Rob, Toni and Mish came as well. We played much music around the campfire we built in the back part of the property. We missed Jason and Jimmy's fire building skills. At one point Mish said "This fire sucks." I am having a hard time doing any thing right these days. At least that is what it feels like to me. Noel had a great time and loved the music.
Liz's sister Rochelle got married on Saturday and Andie worked very hard on the wedding and shot all the photos and she did an amazing job. I was up until midnight compiling five of the songs I have written for weddings along with my guitar instrumental CD, C'est Syrah. While I was playing in the Renton Highlands in person, I was virtually playing via CD at Rochelle's wedding. I asked Andie how it went and what music and songs did they use and she said they used all five songs and every one was pleased. That was a warm fuzzy feeling to be part of both celebrations at the same time. Sarah did a drive by because she is working 18 days straight on her film shoot. She is in the writer, director's groove. I got moments with her but they were precious. She got me some Elixir strings, my favorite and I needed them hugely. She gave me a Peanut's guide to life. Liz got me gold toe socks, a cooler, a book and a six pack of mini coke bottles. It was a grand day. I talked to Freedom as well.
 I am fighting the blues because I hate change and I need one and I need it now. I loved playing music with Rob and Mish and we did three part harmony on the old standard Helplessly Hoping. Then Josh called and we talked, he said he knew we played Danny's song. He sounds great. I have to ask him if I can share some of the pictures he sent. What an angel. The day has fluttered by and I am weary to the bone. Peace.

June 15, 2006
Good Lord somebody slow the roller coaster down! Day into night into day into night and so it goes. Last night Liz graduated from high school. It was a really nice ceremony topped off by a very mature speech by a scholarly young man who had been taught humility by a junior high youth. He said that grace and service were the true measures of success and that before this year he would have said money and prestige. He thanked the young man for teaching him the importance of grace. I was really moved. I have been running over the events and choices of my life and I tend to flinch a great deal. Yet, how is supposed to be is how it is supposed to be. Everything we go through leads to strength or collapse and sometimes both. I regret choices I made that caused people pain. I am grateful for the time and chance to try and do better and the faith that maybe I will be forgiven in the end. I am so grateful to be a father and now a grand father, soon to be for the third time. Check out the new pictures of Sariah Josh sent. He said it was okay to post them. What an old beautiful soul born to a man meant to be a papa. And Freedom is coming into his time as well. God is great. Thank you for the time.

June 11, 2006
We had a great time at Kayden's birthday party. Kathy and Dale bought Kayden a beautiful red wagon. It is a BMW of red wagons and I was really touched. Kayden is studying it still to see what he thinks but I wish I could fit into it and go for a ride right now. Jason and Blu came and Blu made this marvelous blue Care Bears cake. I spent hundreds of hours with the Care Bears when Chani was little so seeing that cake was another happy moment for me. By the way, I still remember how much fun I had in my red wagon. Faith was there like she is for all our special times and we love her a lot. Kayden was loaded with toys from Liz's relatives and our friends and family. I watched him yesterday and even with all those new toys he was playing with half an Easter egg. Go figure. Dan and Becky came and their son Tyler and Kayden and Liz's niece Kaylanee played together. We had a camp fire later in the evening and sat around and played music. We played some of my wedding songs for Liz's sister Cochleae and I realized I won't be able to be at her wedding as I already had a gig booked with Ron and Jimmy. I am trying to think if there is something I could do about it and Larry Thompson comes to mind. I will have to check into that. These new little people in our lives are so amazing. Tyler sang along with me when I was playing guitar and he sang himself to sleep singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Some guy, who I used to think of as a friend but don't anymore, once told me that I could put a gorilla to sleep with my music. It's probably true. Thanks to all.

June 7, 2006
What is it about time that seems to make it pass more and more quickly the older you get. For the very very young time moves ever so slowly, especially when anticipating something. For us ancient mariners it seems to tumble downhill gathering speed as it goes. Today is Kayden's 1st birthday and it seems like only a moment ago he had just arrived so tiny and fragile. Now it is hard to remember him not being here. It is also hard to remember how much time we used to have. He is a full time job all by himself and we have so many other things going on every single day. My music schedule has collapsed. I hope briefly and yet I feel it is time for a change of venues and direction. I have song ideas going through my head but I haven't honed anything for awhile. I usually learn a song in the process of writing it. That involves countless repetitions and a lot of time. Yes time. The commodity I find most elusive these days. But this gray day in Washington we will celebrate this new life and focus in our world. Gather and sing some songs. Visit and thank God Kayden made it to the planet. He is glad to be here. I can assure that is true. He loves his food. He is so vocal when he eats. "MMMMM. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum." He says as he ingests quantities of food that have Andie and I shaking our heads in wonder. He has finally started doing his first word in sign language: all done. We are so thankful because before that he was likely to give out a banshee cry and tense his whole body when he was full. This is much better, much better. Happy birthday big guy.

June 7, 2006     More than anything else, I believe it's our decisions, not the conditions of our lives, that determine our destiny. Anthony Robbins Thanks Dale
Came home to a beautiful wife and child and a lovely yard. Andie weeded everything, even around the tree in the center of the yard. Her flower beds were dandelion patches when I left and clear and ready for planting by the time I returned. Amazing! Kayden was catching a breeze on his bare bottom when I arrived. His little swimming trucks were hanging out to dry. I could see they had a good day. Mama loves that baby.
 I went over to Rob's house about 9 o'clock last night to see Freedom one more time before his departure for Arizona. He and Rob were working on a new song while sitting at the dinning room table. It is two part harmony all the way through and is called Hard Rain. The rest of the evening was spent trying to record it. We got some visiting time in also. Kate showed up and so did Tinzin, Clarity and Steven Eberle. Later still in the evening Joules arrived. She is weary these days from MS and had to lay down. While she was lying there she told a story of a former love of hers. He was in Costa Rica when this woman who barely speaks English came up to him and sang a song the Joules wrote to him some years ago. He contacted Joules and they are going to the Rainbow Festival together this year. Then she said "do you mind if I sing it for you?" and she proceeded to sing this tale of letting go of a free spirit but holding onto the love. It was very touching. I made it until midnight at which point I turned into a pumpkin. That's my tale.

June 5, 2006
Cool gray morning once again. The air is clear and clean from the rain. Thoughts are bouncing around in my brain but need coffee to clear my head. Freedom is in town two more full days so I hope to see him and have our web design lessons before he goes back to Arizona. I want to teach him to add a journal and poetry to his web site. He has so much to say but doesn't know yet how to upload the files. I am sure he will grab right onto it and if there isn't enough time maybe he could e-mail me and I will post them. Anyway I hope this is a great week with good news and upward motion.

June 4, 2006
Thank God for this space to be and think and create. I spent about 8 hours trying to make it Kayden friendly. I think it worked out pretty good. He has a whole PA bungee corded to the filing cabinet so he can turn all the knobs. He has a Djimbe bungee corded to the desk so he can climb it and play. He has a computer key board to bang on and a track ball to take apart and put back together. He still gravitates towards anything he can reach while standing on tip toe. That is more and more stuff each day. Yikes.
I haven't been able to get through to Freedom or Rob today. I wanted to go for a visit before I start a new week but no luck. I may dink around in the studio for a few hours here. While I child proofed it pretty good I have left me only a work standing up option. I guess I can use the exercise. New day is coming fast.

June 3, 2006
   It was a lovely sunny day with just some hints that it might rain. The concert went really well. I had no idea how big this event is. I guess they raise over 200,000 dollars for cancer research. It was fun and the sound, at least for Manolito and I was great. Jimmy said he wasn't very happy with his sound but it was good for me. Kayden danced and played his shaker. I made it from an empty juice plus bottle. He loves to play percussion and he has that perfect meter like Josh has. It was nice Dale Fuentes to come and donate his time for this benefit, especially on his birthday. Andie got a nice photo of Manolito and I. It is on the news page.
   Later in the day we went to Rob's to help with the Freedom Tribe web site. Mish was working with Rob on the graphics and I realized there wasn't much for me to do at that early stage. Since I was pooped we headed for home. The boys and girls were going to continue working. Andie had made a crock pot casserole and brought it over and we all scarfed it down. Mish and Andie are on the 16th day of their fast. I get hungry just thinking about it. So it is time for rest. Tomorrow is a brand new day.

June 2, 2006     Sick as a dog, must lie down
Well it was a hell of a day at sea sir. I am sick as a Mo Fo and I have a concert tomorrow. I will be pulling out all my Barry White songs. Wait a minute. I don't know any Barry White songs. Anyhow I had a great evening last night. First I went to visit my adopted son, Rob. He was working at Mike Daily's studio recording free jazz. It was a duo which consisted of a drummer-vibes player and a sax. The music was way out there but they were such phenomenal players they pulled it off.
Then I checked my messages and heard Freedom say he really wanted to see. Since I was exhausted and feeling this crud settling in I thought to myself, "It is 10:30 at night I should go to bed." So I drove over to Rob's house where Freedom was and visited him until 2:30 in the morning. Steven Everly showed up after driving up from San Francisco. Freedom said he was editing some songs and was overwhelmed by this incredible loneliness. I knew it was the right thing to do: going to see him that is. We had a soulful talk and he played me this beautiful song that he had recorded in Maui. We talked about living over there. I could deal with that. The ocean nearby. Swimming in the sea every day. He shared his memories of childhood with me like he does whenever we are together. He talked about my "intensity" and how he could be in trouble for doing nothing so much of the time. I hate hearing about my shortcomings as a father although they could fill volumes. It has always been important to me to be the best one I could be. Don't we all? Don't we all want to be the best we can be?.

June 1, 2006
Days are more and more full and it seems I have less time to write. With the family, the little one, and all the other callings I haven't time to even journal. To write daily it will probably have to be late in the day kind of thing. I really like to wake up and write though. It gives me a creative start to my day. Lately it seems I have stuff to do from waking on. Andie carries more than her share and she is really loving and giving to everyone. I am really the luckiest man in the world. I never ask what did I do to deserve this because that would send me running off down the road ducking for cover. I just say thank you. Thank you.
   I find myself biding my time and not saying how I feel lately because sometimes it seems like I am singing into the wind and the words are lost in the motion of the moment. So I sift some of my feelings a little further and further down. Although it is true that we see eye to eye on most things there is an area that is quicksand to tread on. Is there a point in standing up for what you believe when when you feel like no one is listening? How far do you go to express yourself when you feel like reason doesn't enter the picture from one or both sides. Questions. No answers. So I see that smiling little boy who loves Andie so much and I play with him when he is of a mind. I reflect on the grown children in my life and all I gained and all I missed in their lives. Blessed is the man who walks with his eyes open to the passage of time.

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist